Are you looking for a bed your dog can snuggle up against? Or does your pet feel more secure when sleeping next to a wall? If so, one of these five bolster beds for dogs could be the perfect choice.
If your pet loves to snuggle up against a cushion, or often curls up when he sleeps, a bolster dog bed could be a great choice.
Bolster beds - also known as nesting - have raised edges that are filled with soft padding. The dog can rest against the bolster or lay his head on top like a pillow. Larger bolster beds also allow your pet to stretch out (unlike donut beds).
It's important to choose the right bolster for your pet though. All dog beds needs to be durable, easy to wash and provide a comfortable sleeping surface. The bolsters also need to be soft yet supportive enough to prevent sagging.
With these factors in mind, let's take a closer look at some of the best dog bolster beds available at the moment.
What Are the Advantages of a Bolster Bed?
There are several advantages of a bolster pet bed. These include:
- Can Be Used as a Pillow. Some dogs enjoy resting their head on a pillow when sleeping. Bolsters are perfect for this - especially those with soft fillings that mold to your pet's head.
- Comfortable to Curl Up Against. If you've noticed your pet curling up against sofa cushions, a bolster bed could be an excellent choice.
- Greater Security Than a Flat Bed. Many dogs feel safer when they sleep in an enclosed nest. While bolsters don't fully enclose a dog, like a cave bed, the raised borders can make a dog feel secure when sleeping.
- Not as Restrictive as Donut or Enclosed Beds. Donut, corner or fully-enclosed beds may provide more security, but they restrict a dog to sleeping in certain positions. A bolster can support a dog in almost any position - as long as it's big enough for your pet.
Of course, whether a bolster is the right type of bed for your pet depends on his requirements. Bolsters aren't a great choice for dogs that like to hang their head off the side of a bed, or those who need maximum room to stretch out, for example. Many dogs enjoy the security and comfort of a raised edges though.
5 Best Pet Bolster Beds & Reviews
|#1||PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed||Excellent bed with thick memory foam mattress||$$$$|
|#2||BarksBar Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed||Cheaper than the PetFusion and still has orthopedic foam||$$$|
|#3||Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed Lounge||Another excellent memory foam bolstered bed||$$$$|
|#4||K&H Original Bolster Elevated Dog Bed||Durable elevated bed, with a soft bolster, that's great for keeping your pet cool||$$|
|#5||JOYELF Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed||Less expensive memory foam option, but relatively thin mattress||$$$|
Scroll down for more information and mini-reviews of each of our top picks.
1. PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed
The PetFusion Ultimate is my #1 pick for a bolstered bed. It's a high-quality orthopedic dog bed with a solid memory foam base and soft polyfil bolsters, so it provides outstanding support and comfort.
There are several sizes available, with the largest (XXL Jumbo) suitable for dogs up to 200lbs or more. The main base is made from solid memory foam - not shredded foam like cheaper products - so it reduces pressure on the hips and shoulders.
It's worth noting that the smaller sizes have a thinner foam base, which makes sense as lighter dogs don't require such a thick bed. The largest size has an impressive 6" memory foam base, which is one of the thickest I've seen from any dog bed.
Aside from its quality construction, PetFusion has put a lot of thought into making this a great all-rounder. The outer cover can be machine washed and is durable enough to withstand repeated cleans. There's also a waterproof liner to protect the mattress if your dog has an accident.
There aren't many drawbacks of this dog bed - but it's not suitable for chewers. The relatively thin external cover can handle some light scratching or digging, but it's not designed to be chew-proof. There's also a noticeable odor when you first open the package, but this is an issue with all foam dog beds.
Despite these minor drawbacks, it's one of the best dog beds available at the moment.
Note: If you're looking for a memory foam dog bed, check out my full list at https://www.thedogclinic.com/dog-beds/memory-foam
Why We Recommend It: The PetFusion Ultimate is an outstanding bolster dog bed that provides just the right combination of support and cushioning. It's available in several sizes, so there's an option for most breeds, and has a machine-washable cover. For these reasons, it's my pick for the best dog bolster bed.
- Material: Solid memory foam mattress and polyfil bolsters
- Sizes Available: Small, Large, X Large, XXL Jumbo
- Price Range: $$$$
- Solid foam for great support
- Soft bolsters
- Machine-washable cover
- Not suitable for chewers
2. BarksBar Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed
If you're looking for an orthopedic bolster pet bed that's a bit cheaper than the PetFusion Ultimate, the Barksbar is a solid alternative. It's made from regular orthopedic foam rather than memory foam, but still provides a supportive sleeping surface and soft bolsters for added comfort.
The mattress is built with 4" grooved orthopedic foam. This provides enough firmness to prevent the dog sinking through, while remaining comfortable and supportive of the dog's joints. The bolsters are filled with cotton for a luxurious feel, which is great for supporting the neck and contouring to the dog's shape.
Other features include a machine-washable cover and non-slip rubber backing. It's also easy to remove the cover due to the high-quality zippers. There isn't a waterproof liner though, which is something to consider if your dog often has accidents.
A drawback of the BarksBar Dog Bed is that it's only available in two sizes, and the large option is only suitable for dogs up to 100lbs. Unlike the PetFusion, both sizes come with the same 4" orthopedic foam mattress, which may not provide support for the heaviest dogs.
Even so, the BarksBar is an excellent dog bed with bolsters that provides great value for money. If you're looking for luxury, it's one of the best dog beds on the market.
Why We Recommend It: The BarksBar Orthopedic Bolster is a brilliant bed that provides a lot of value. The orthopedic foam makes it a good choice for dogs with joint problems - or those that just enjoy a luxury bed - and the soft cotton bolsters are perfect as pillows.
- Material: 4" Grooved Orthopedic Foam Mattress & Cotton-Filled Bolsters
- Sizes Available: Medium, Large
- Price Range: $$$
- Solid orthopedic dog bed for joint support
- Soft bolsters filled with cotton
- Cover can be machine washed
- No waterproof inner lining
- Only two sizes
3. Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Lounge Sofa
Another excellent orthopedic bolstered bed is the Friends Forever Lounge Sofa. It's a high-quality bed with a 4" memory foam mattress and cushioned bolsters for maximum comfort - plus it's available in several colors and sizes.
As you would expect from an orthopedic dog bed with bolsters, the Friends Forever Lounge is relatively expensive. The combination of supportive foam mattress, soft poly-fill bolsters and water-resistant liner (which is important for protecting the foam) make it one of the best dog beds on the market though.
Aside from its supportive design, the Friends Forever has a removable cover that can be machine washed. This is made from soft fabric that's durable and doesn't stain easily. There's also a non-skid bottom, which is useful for older dogs or those who are anxious about unstable surfaces.
One thing to note is that it only has bolsters on three walls. This is a common design, but makes it easier for older dogs to step into the bed without hurting their joints.
The biggest drawback is the price. It's expensive compared to other dog beds - especially if you need the XL option. For pets that need comfortable support for their joints and a bolster as a pillow, however, it's difficult to beat.
Why We Recommend It: The Friends Forever Orthopedic Lounge Sofa is an excellent bed. The memory foam provides great support, while the soft bolsters are comfortable for your pet to rest his head on. It's also suitable for dogs with joint pain.
- Material: Memory foam mattress & poly-fill bolsters
- Sizes Available: Small, Large, Extra Large
- Price Range: $$$$
- 4" mattress
- Water resistant lining for the mattress
- Soft & machine washable cover
4. K&H Original Bolster Elevated Dog Bed
While most bolster beds are made with orthopedic foam, the K&H Pet Cot is one of the few with an elevated design. Elevated beds aren't as soft as regular dog beds, but provide a cooling surface due to increased airflow. If your dog loves to curl up against a pillow, but gets too hot on a regular mattress, this is a great alternative.
Available in three sizes, the Pet Cot is a durable product with a waterproof design. It's easy to put together and combines the comfort of a bolster with the cooling properties of an elevated bed. It's also durable and more suitable for chewers than the other dog beds on this list.
One of the great things about elevated beds is that they can be used both indoors and outdoors. If you want to provide a comfortable sleeping surface that keeps your pet cool, elevated beds are an excellent choice.
A useful feature is that the bolsters can be removed for machine washing. The base isn't machine washable, but can be wiped down to prevent mold and mildew.
The main drawback is that it doesn't provide the same support as a foam mattress. This can cause extra pressure on joints, which could be a problem for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems.
If you need a strong bolster dog bed that's suitable for dogs that overheat, however, it's one of the best options.
Note: For a full list of elevated beds, check out my guide at https://www.thedogclinic.com/dog-beds/elevated.
Why We Recommend It: Not all dogs want to sleep on a foam mattress - especially if they are prone to overheating. The K&H Original Bolster Elevated is an excellent alternative for dogs that prefer a cool sleeping surface, but still want to rest their head on a cushion.
- Material: Breathable mesh surface
- Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large
- Price Range: $$
- Durable design and can be used outdoors
- Soft bolsters for greater comfort
- Machine washable bolsters
- Not as soft and supportive as a foam dog bed
5. JOYELF Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed
If you want the comfort and support of memory foam without the high price tag, the JOYELF Orthopedic Bed is an option to consider. Like several other dog beds on this list, it's made with solid memory foam that molds to your dog's body shape. It also has cotton bolsters and is easy to clean.
Aside from its foam mattress, the JOYELF has all the features you would expect from a high-quality bolster dog bed. These include a non-slip bottom, inner waterproof cover to protect the mattress, and a machine-washable cover. It also comes with a squeaker toy and is available in two sizes.
The reason this dog bed is cheaper than other memory foam beds is that the mattress is only 2" thick. It's still able to support the joints of smaller dogs, but heavier breeds are at risk of sinking through.
For this reason, I only recommend the JOYELF for small breeds. If you have a medium or large dog, look for at least 4" of solid memory foam. Lightweight dogs will love sleeping on it though.
Note: Like most foam mattresses, the JOYELF has a distinct odor when it's first opened. It's best to be prepared for this otherwise it can be quite a shock!
Why We Recommend It: If you want a memory foam orthopedic dog bed without paying a fortune, the JOYELF could be a good option. It's made with solid foam and has comfortable cotton bolsters that many dogs will love. The mattress is relatively thin, however, so I only recommend it for light breeds.
- Material: 2" memory foam mattress & PP cotton bolsters
- Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large
- Price Range: $$$
- Cheaper than many memory foam beds
- Machine-washable cover
- Waterproof inner lining
- Only 2" foam mattress which may allow heavier dogs to sink to the floor
The best bolster dog beds provide a secure and comfortable sleeping space for your pup. They also strike an excellent balance between space and security - especially when compared to fully enclosed beds.
My top recommendation in this category is the excellent PetFusion Ultimate. This bed also made it onto my list of the top 10 dog beds (full list here) due to its thick memory foam mattress, soft bolsters and machine washable cover.
I hope this article has helped you choose the best dog bed with bolsters for your pet. If you have any questions or comments, let me know below!
About the Author: Richard Cross
Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports.